Agency for Change- Dave Newell, President and CEO of Children's Home Society of Washington » KidGlov

Announcer:

Welcome to Agency for Change, the podcast that brings you the stories of people creating positive change in the world. We explore what inspires these changemakers, the work they’re doing, and how they share their message. Each of us can play a part in change. And these are the people who show us how.

Lyn Wineman:

Hi, everyone. This is Lyn Wineman, president of KidGlov. Welcome to another episode of Agency for Change podcast. Today’s guest, Dave Newell, is the president and CEO of Children’s Home Society of Washington. Based in Seattle, this is Washington State’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children. They serve over 30,000 children and families every year. And in the midst of a global pandemic, the needs seem to be ever increasing. Dave, I’m eager to talk with you today and learn more about the great impact you’re making on the world.

Dave Newell:

Thanks. It’s great to be here, Lyn.

Lyn Wineman:

Absolutely. It’s always more fun when I get to talk with you, Dave. I should let everybody know you and I had the chance to work together when you were in Nebraska. And now the great State of Washington is lucky enough to have you there. And I want to start by reading something that I picked up from your website.

Dave Newell:

Okay.

Lyn Wineman:

It states, just as a sturdy house needs certain materials, our children need many supports and opportunities to be successful in school and in life. Children’s Home Society of Washington helps create a solid foundation for today’s children that will lead to prosperity for all of us in the future. First of all, kudos to your marketing person who wrote that and put that together. But would you take a minute and tell us more about the society and the work that you do?

Dave Newell:

Sure. And the society, I was just sharing with you before we started, we just turned 125 years old this month. And your Nebraska listeners will be interested to know that our founders actually came from Nebraska. So, it was a Reverend Brown, and his wife, Libbie, who came from Lincoln, Nebraska and founded us 125 years ago.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow.

Dave Newell:

But as you might guess, things have changed a little bit in that timeframe. Nowadays, Children’s Home Society, they’re some very large buckets in how we support kids and families and build that foundation. And those buckets are broadly defined as early learning programs that we have for children; parent and family education programs; mental health services for kids and their families; and family reunification in child welfare services, they’re the big buckets of what we do across the state. And we are a statewide organization and have locations across greater Seattle, and then across the state. And Washington State, like most states is a very diverse state, so we tailor to whatever the unique community needs are, where we’re based.

Dave Newell:

With the kind of overlying umbrella of the services that we provide, we’ve been working on what we call the family success hub model. And so, the broad things that fall under our family success hub model are some categories where we want to reach kids as early as possible and take a multi-generation approach to the kids and families. We give families access to the resources they need as early as possible so that they don’t go into crisis. And we work to be culturally sensitive, and base our work off the lived experiences of the kids and families with no eligibility criteria to get help.

Dave Newell:

So, lots of services, in traditional scope, you need to meet some sort of eligibility criteria. And what we’re really trying to do is design our services in such a way where there is no eligibility criteria for that.

Dave Newell:

And then the last piece is, we also have a state and national policy agenda where we want to support policies on the national and local levels that really support strengthening families and keeping families together. So, those are the overarching things of what Children’s Home Society does today.

Lyn Wineman:

Dave, just as I would expect from you and from an organization with the rich history, such as yours, that sounds like a very thoughtful and comprehensive group of services. And I know that it’s really important to reach children early in life, right in those formative years. And because you call this the success model, this might seem like a silly or obvious question. But can you talk more about just what is the importance of helping kids thrive at that early age, and what is the ripple effect that it has on the world?

Dave Newell:

Sure. So, if you think about kids, we all know kids depend on us adults, right? They can’t go get a job and drive their car, and do all these things that-

Lyn Wineman:

Thank goodness. Right?

Dave Newell:

… we adults supposedly do well. And so, if you want to know how a family is doing, if you want to know how a community is doing, the kids are like the canary in the cave, right? Because, and one of the things that we talk about through the Harvard Center for Child Early Development, as an example, is we talk a lot about toxic stress.

Dave Newell:

And so, if a family is really experiencing a lot of stress, you’re going to see challenges with the children because the children are touched by that stress. And the same is true for communities. And so, what you have to do is, you have to make sure that you’re addressing the things that are causing toxic stress in a child or family’s life. When you start to do it…I’ll just use an example that all the listeners here would be familiar with, if you think about Flint, Michigan, as an example, we know what contaminated water with lead does to children, right? But not only do we have to address that need for the children, but of course, we also know that lead makes everybody sick.

Dave Newell:

So, when we address those child’s needs, whatever those are, is going to be your ripple effect perspective, not only is it improving the life of that child, but it’s also improving the life of everyone who lives in that community. And so, we’re all direct beneficiaries.

Dave Newell:

And one of the things I’ve been thinking a lot, just one other example related to this is, because of the age of Children’s Home Society of Washington, one of the things that I frequently say to our staff is, this is our second pandemic, because the first pandemic in the United States was in 1918. And so, since the pandemic hit, we have really been reflecting on, not only what does this pandemic mean for kids and families today and our staff, but also what did we learn from 1918?

Dave Newell:

And one of the things that’s really different from 1918, is with that pandemic children were very susceptible to the, what was a flu virus back then. And of course, millions of children died as a result of that pandemic. One of the ways we know COVID-19 is different, is in this particular case, we know older adults are most susceptible to this virus.

Dave Newell:

And I think, I noticed a comment on Twitter the other day that really resonated with me, and that commentator was saying, we owe such a debt of gratitude to the world’s children over this. Now, it’s approaching a year, right? Because they have sacrificed for us adults to keep us safe. And I include my own children when I say that.

Dave Newell:

And so, when you think of the sacrifices that children across our nation and in the world have made on behalf of our adults and, they’ve done it willingly and without complaining too much. And if we think about the sacrifice of everything that they’ve given up over this past year for the health and wellbeing of we adults, I just don’t think that we in any way are acknowledging that on the level that it needs to be acknowledged.

Lyn Wineman:

Until you said that, I never really thought of it in that way, but you are exactly right. Kids aren’t going to school. They aren’t on the playground. They aren’t doing the things they normally do. And I imagine too, since you mentioned toxic stress, I mean, we’re in crazy times. It’s early 2021. We are happy to be out of 2020, but we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. We’re still social distancing, working from home. There’s a lot going on in the political climate. Our kids just have to feel that from us as well, because many of them are stuck at home with us all day too.

Dave Newell:

Absolutely.

Lyn Wineman:

And we’re telling them to be quiet so we can go into our closet and do a podcast, right?

Dave Newell:

Exactly.

Lyn Wineman:

No kids or dogs can make noise for the next hour. But think about it, when you think about, did you say Reverend Black or Reverend Brown, who formed the organization?

Dave Newell:

Brown.

Lyn Wineman:

Brown?

Dave Newell:

Yes.

Lyn Wineman:

So, when Reverend Brown formed the organization, 125 years ago, could he, or those brave people, have even imagined what we’d be going through today. And I’m curious from your perspective, Dave, do you think the world has become a more difficult place for kids and families?

Dave Newell:

I was really intrigued by that question, when you sent it to me. I think that the challenges are just as great today as they were in 1896. But they’re very different. So, if you think back in 1896, here again, just as an example, mortality rates for children and particularly women were extremely high. We all know during that time frame because women died in childbirth, right?

Lyn Wineman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dave Newell:

And children frequently, it was not an uncommon thing for children to die very young. So, in some respects today, the quality of life for children and families is vastly improved from what it was like in 1896. But then there are these legacy challenges that are still also very much with us, just as they were with us in the late 1800s. And so, some of the challenges that were facing Reverend Brown, were things like poverty, structural racism, and bad public policies that didn’t support children and families.

Dave Newell:

We also have to remember at the end of the 1800s, children weren’t perceived as people. This is a very new phenomenon that in human history where we are actually now, we think of children as people, as something that has rights. Remember women couldn’t vote.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah, right.

Dave Newell:

Women didn’t have rights. Children, we just had the centennial and suffrage. Right?

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Dave Newell:

So now, so this notion today, for example, of children having rights, if you had spoken to somebody in the late 1800s about children having rights, they would have looked at you in a pretty peculiar way like, “What are you talking about? Of course, children don’t have rights.” That’s a very modern notion that we have. But the challenges facing families today are just as great as they were in the late 1800s, but obviously they’re expressed differently.

Dave Newell:

The other, I think nice thing that we have today, is it’s not that we haven’t known for a long time what it takes to really support families and have strong families, but one thing that’s different today is we have a much better understanding of the science that underlies those things that make for strong families. And so, just as an example, one of the things that psychologists talk about in child development, is they talk about having responsive relationships.

Dave Newell:

And so, well, what’s a responsive relationship? We all learned what a responsive relationship was when we were a baby when our mother played Peekaboo with us, right? So, when you play Peekaboo with an infant, you’re engaged in a responsive relationship, as an example. And so, moms have always known to play Peekaboo with their kids, right? But now we have an understanding of the science, what’s going on in that infant’s brain as a result of their mother playing Peekaboo with them, as an example.

Lyn Wineman:

And something as simple as that can be such a big deal, right?

Dave Newell:

It’s a huge deal, especially when it doesn’t occur.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah.

Dave Newell:

Because if you want to find out what why something like Peekaboo is really important, when you have a parent, for example, who’s struggling with a mental health issue where they’re not in a position to be responsive to their child, then that has a detrimental effect both for the child and for the parents as they’re going through that together.

Lyn Wineman:

And I imagine we could go on and on and talk for a whole hour on how technology has affected interpersonal relationships and attention spans and impacts that type of relationship as well.

Dave Newell:

I think a big challenge today related to the technology is, even though on the one hand we’re more connected than we’ve ever been, like on this Zoom call with you and me right now. But we’re also, there’s never been a greater time where kids and families have experienced more social isolation, than at in any time in our history either.

Lyn Wineman:

Absolutely.

Dave Newell:

And so, I think it’s a weird paradox.

Lyn Wineman:

And we’re seeing the science on that, the detriment of social isolation. I mean, I think it’s been studied in seniors for a long time. And now, I think as we come out of the pandemic, we’re going to see more and more about that too. And speaking about the pandemic, it’s impacting so many people across the globe. How is it affecting Children’s Home Society specifically? What are some of the things you’re having to do differently?

Dave Newell:

As you know, we’re headquartered in Seattle, where COVID was identified as really starting in the United States, not very far from actually where I’m sitting right now is where it was first identified. And in about the space of a week, we had to pivot and move almost all of our services to virtual service delivery, in about a week. With the exception of our early learning centers, where back when the pandemic started, we initially closed them for about a month.  And then reopened the early learning centers on a modified basis, with much lower capacities so that kids could come to those.

Dave Newell:

So, on the one hand, we did a phenomenal job, I think, of pivoting to moving to virtual service delivery. Just to give you examples, that means therapy, for example, was done via video conferencing. And we have a number of home visiting programs. And so, those went virtual.

Dave Newell:

One of the areas that we needed to help families with was, many low-income families experienced a technology divide. And so, for many families, we had to provide them with internet access or tablets, or laptops, those kinds of things so that they could access us virtually and vice versa. And so, that was a challenge. And it’s going to be an ongoing challenge until we really come up with some both state and national solutions to eliminate the technology divide for families. Because really today the internet has to be considered a utility.

Lyn Wineman:

It really does. Right? I can’t imagine how kids do school, communicate.

Dave Newell:

So, that’s going to really require a national response. But in the meantime, we’ve been doing it on an individual family basis. But if you think about it and going back to the comments we were talking about earlier, as far as toxic stress, it’s just like, think of any challenge that could face a family and then pour gasoline on that fire. So, we know that economic stability is a major thing to reduce toxic stress for a family, as an example.

Dave Newell:

And so, especially for those people who became unemployed as a result of the pandemic, the initial national response on unemployment was actually a phenomenal example of a very positive public policy response to help keeping families stable. And as we know, those benefits have just recently been running out. And so, we’re hopeful that there’s going to be similar public policy responses. Because if we don’t keep these kids and families economically stable, then we know toxic stress is just going to go through the roof, and all the social challenges that go along with that toxic stress will just compound.

Dave Newell:

And so, unfortunately, and this is something I’ve said to our staff and I’m sure they’re tired of me saying it, the easiest part of the pandemic is actually behind us. The hardest part of the pandemic, we’re in it right now. And so, if you think about this from a natural disaster standpoint there, are phases of response to natural disasters that everybody experiences. We are in the disillusionment phase of-

Lyn Wineman:

Disillusionment sounds like a good word for what’s going on right now.

Dave Newell:

Yes, that’s the phase that we’re in, unfortunately. And so, from an employee standpoint, we know that things like productivity will greatly decrease. But from a mental health standpoint, we know all the things associated with depression and suicide, and substance use and abuse, all of these things, all of these things will spike during this time until things start to improve. And of course, we know they’re going to start to improve, especially now with the introduction of the vaccines.

Dave Newell:

So, things are going to improve. But right now, we are in the trough, and we’re going to probably be in the trough for at least two more months before things really start to turn around. And so, this is the most dangerous phase that the kids and families and all of us are in right now.

Lyn Wineman:

Wow. Wow. Dave, I’ve asked you questions up until this point that have led to a lot of depressing answers. And so, I want to bring this podcast out of the trough. How about that?

Dave Newell:

Okay. There you go.

Lyn Wineman:

I saw something fun on your social media. And I think there was maybe a young man named Daniel, a young philanthropist, I believe. He was described as someone who gave his birthday money to Children’s Home Society. And I imagine it was not your largest donation of the year, but perhaps your most heartwarming. I’m just curious, can you tell us more about Daniel? And then, also taking that further, the importance of financial contributions to your organization?

Dave Newell:

So, absolutely. And yeah, thanks for turning the direction of this around. And I apologize if you hear my dog barking.

Lyn Wineman:

We’re in the time of COVID, there’s dogs, there’s kids. I reference to people at various, what’s your dog’s name, Dave?

Dave Newell:

It’s Apollo. And he is a Great Dane.

Lyn Wineman:

Well, hey, Apollo. Good boy. Good boy. All right. So, tell me a bit more about, Daniel.

Dave Newell:

Sure. So, Daniel, yeah, it is a great story. And so, when we heard from Daniel and his family, his family has a long standing connection to Children’s Home Society. His grandfather actually used to work for us, which is not an uncommon thing. We have generations of folks who have worked for Children’s Home Society, going back to the very beginning.

Dave Newell:

And Daniel, he’s a typical kid. And I mean that in the sense of not to minimize his generosity, which was wonderful. But my own take is, on kids, is kids are natural givers. And so, especially when it’s modeled for them, like Daniel’s family has modeled for him, he comes from a family of givers who have given both through their work experience, working for Children’s Home Society, but also through the charitable giving that they make. We know, going back to the science of the brain, that when we give, actually endorphins are released in our brain. It is a positive reinforcing thing for us to give. And we’re hard wired to give.

Dave Newell:

And I think when Daniel gave his gift to us, I think that touched us on so many different levels. And kids really do care about other kids and they care about the adults around them too. And if we provide them with opportunities to give, they’ll do it and model it for the rest of us.

Dave Newell:

And so, we couldn’t do the work that we do without the Daniels out there in the world. And so, Daniel, if you’re listening, we just greatly appreciate your gift. And it really does matter to the kids and families, because about 20% of our operating budget is through charitable support. And that’s a huge portion of our budget. And a lot of the creative things that I was talking about earlier, as we were responding to the kids and families, would not have been possible without charitable donations like Daniel’s. And so, it makes a huge difference.

Lyn Wineman:

I hope Daniel is listening. Bravo, Daniel. And I think that’s a good word of inspiration to people too. Like, hey, if you are feeling down in the dumps today, go find your favorite nonprofit. I’m going to recommend today, Children’s Home of Washington, Children’s Home Society of Washington. But give a little something. I think there’s a lot to that.

Lyn Wineman:

All right, I’m going to switch gears again. Because at KidGlov, we work with a number of organizations that are involved in both recruiting and supporting foster care families. And I feel like there’s always a shortage of potential foster care parents. And maybe you’re not finding that, but I’m curious, is this the case for your organization? And if so, can you help dispel some of the misunderstandings or myths about being a foster parent?

Dave Newell:

Sure. Well, as you know, I was a foster parent too. So, clearly anybody can do it, if I can do it. I think that’s the most important thing for people to know. But yeah, so we are a foster care agency. And we also do a national program with the Dave Thomas Foundation called Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and work with the Child Welfare Agency here in the State of Washington.

Dave Newell:

And Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, one of its groups it is designed to support is particularly teenagers, who are harder to find both foster homes for, and also harder to find adoptive parents for. And really making those matches and bringing permanency to those kids’ lives.

Dave Newell:

And so, a couple things, we’re taking here again, a two-pronged approach to this challenge because there is a shortage of foster families in this country. So, one is alleviating the number of kids who are separated from their families. And that’s where, going back to our family success hub model, when we’re doing things correctly and really following the science and good practice, we believe we can dramatically reduce the number of kids who are separated from their family. So, that’s one approach.

Lyn Wineman:

A great way to start, right? Let’s not need the foster parents to start with. Yeah.

Dave Newell:

Exactly. Yes, so, we are approaching it on that end. But there are kids who are in the child welfare system who need foster families and they need adoptive families. And so, for those kids, yeah, we are actively looking. But I think it’s getting to your question about, the myths or whatever it is. Being the parent of two teenagers right now, I know that teenagers can be really challenging sometimes, right? But there are these notions of foster kids, what they’re like, the “Oh, well, I could never do that.”

Dave Newell:

And one of the things that always bothered my wife and I, when we were foster parenting is people would say, “Oh, well, you guys must be saints. And you’re so much better than I am.” And no, my wife and I are far from perfect. And we struggle with parenting just like any other couple does. And it was really simple. We were asked to foster these kids and we said yes to it. But these foster kids, are kids first. So, if you like kids, and if…I don’t recommend fostering, if you don’t like kids, you probably shouldn’t foster.

Lyn Wineman:

Probably not a good idea.

Dave Newell:

Probably not a good match for you. But if you like kids, there is probably a foster youth out there for you. And these kids are, they’re kids. And they’re wonderful. And they have a lot to teach us. And I think from my own perspective, I think we gained much more from the kids than what they might have gained from us. And so, you don’t have to be a saint, you don’t have to be a super parent, but you do need to like kids, I’ll say that.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s the important part of it.

Dave Newell:

Yeah.

Lyn Wineman:

So, Dave, I am curious because I love it when people practice what they preach. Right? And since you mentioned you’ve been a foster parent, and I think you and your wife have adopted also, how has that impacted your perspective on the work that you do?

Dave Newell:

Well, I think for me anyway, it’s really taught me a lot about empathy. And also, going back to the things that we were talking about earlier, the importance of early intervention is, we can intervene in somebody’s life in a positive way at any stage, including old age. Right?

Lyn Wineman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Dave Newell:

There’s no age where people can’t be helped in some way. But the earlier we intervene…I think the ways that it’s really impacted me is empathy for what kids are going through, empathy for what their parents are going through. And in particular, three of my daughters, they’re adults now. So, they’re women of color, I think it’s also really impacted me in understanding intergenerational trauma. And these legacies that go back to the very founding of our country still have a big impact for people today. And in seeing that being experienced in their lives today has had a pretty profound impact on how I look at the world and understand it. And so, those are the things that I hope I’ve taken away from some of those experiences.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s great. I just have to imagine that that makes you an even stronger leader in the field that you’re in. And I am curious, Dave, I’d like to just talk more about your story. I mean, you probably could have gone into any field you wanted to. And you have over two decades of experience in social service work, both in service and leadership. How did your path lead you to this direction?

Dave Newell:

So, I like to blame my parents for this kind of thing.

Lyn Wineman:

We can’t blame everything on our parents.

Dave Newell:

It’s not our parents, yes. So, my dad was a Presbyterian minister, and my mom was a lot of things. My parents were too old, they didn’t really generationally fit, so, they were too old to be hippies. But both of them had very profound senses of social justice. And I was really raised with that. So, both my parents were very active in the civil rights movement in the sixties. And my mom was a feminist long before it was fashionable to be a feminist.

Lyn Wineman:

I love her already.

Dave Newell:

Yes, yes, you would have loved my mom. So, she was very progressive. And then, late in their careers, in their lives, they were very active within the church and the LGBTQ movement.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh, my goodness. Wow.

Dave Newell:

Yeah. So, I mean, they were just very progressive people. And I think I was basically raised with that and just a really strong sense of social justice. And I think that’s what attracted me to the field. And that’s how I landed here.

Lyn Wineman:

I think that’s fabulous. Also, speaks to the fact of the importance of early childhood and role modeling, and interacting, and sharing your beliefs with your kids.

Dave Newell:

Absolutely.

Lyn Wineman:

Yeah, I see that. And I’m sure that they’re very proud of you. And so, Dave, I got to work with you, talking about your journey, when you were in Omaha at the helm of PromiseShip. And I also know that you’ve worked in Sacramento, Anchorage, now Seattle. What have you learned from living and working in such diverse areas?

Dave Newell:

So, I guess from my perspective, I think the human experience is really pretty universal, wherever you are. But the ecosystem that that human experience is happening in, has a huge impact in, not only what the person is experiencing, but also from a service delivery standpoint, how you respond to that.

Dave Newell:

So, I see that the challenges facing kids and families is pretty uniform. But obviously, so for example, if you’re working in a state like Alaska or in Nebraska with large rural areas in it, the challenges facing kids and families living in rural areas are experienced differently than kids and families in urban areas. And so, you have to customize around that. A response that might work really well in an urban area, won’t work necessarily in a rural area and vice versa, that kind of thing.

Dave Newell:

And then of course, that’s also true from a diversity standpoint of what might work for a Caucasian family, might not work for a family with a different background or different language, or whatever. So, a service approach that works really well in English, might not work so great in Tagalog.

Lyn Wineman:

That makes a lot of sense.

Dave Newell:

And so, really adjusting for the diversity. But so yeah, I’ve lived in the Arctic, in an Eskimo village.

Lyn Wineman:

Not in an igloo though.

Dave Newell:

And I’ve lived in cities like Seattle.

Lyn Wineman:

Not in an igloo. That’s a very short-sighted question, I know.

Dave Newell:

But pretty darn isolated. I was on the Bering Straits.

Lyn Wineman:

Oh my.

Dave Newell:

And so, the challenge is… Yeah, the challenges facing a family in a Yupik village on the Bering Straits, you really have to customize to that. And likewise, in Seattle the things that are challenging for families here are different. But the kind of the universals of human experience, that’s pretty much the same wherever you go.

Lyn Wineman:

I love that. That’s great. So, Dave, we’ve talked about a lot of difficult things. I mean, as a leader in your field, you do a lot of heart-wrenching work. You see things that the rest of us don’t see, but yet you know you’re making a difference with your work. And I’m curious, what advice do you have for leaders who want to make a difference in the world?

Dave Newell:

So, one of the things that I was introduced to through a leadership development program that I was involved with, I was introduced to improv in that leadership group. Because so many of the challenges facing leaders today, none of them have simple solutions. I mean, if any of this stuff had simple solutions, we would do them, right? and we would do them yesterday.

Lyn Wineman:

Right. You would hope so.

Dave Newell:

You would hope so. But the challenges that we’re facing are complex and they’re multifaceted, and they don’t have simple solutions. And so, what some leaders call these challenges, adaptive problems or adaptive challenges. And one of the things that I’ve learned is, a lot of times from improv, you’re going to have to adapt to that very unique situation and make it work.

Dave Newell:

There’s a book out there that’s called Improv Wisdom. And one of the truisms that’s in that book is that they offered the advice to listen as if your life depended on it. So, the advice that I would give to anybody who wants to go into this field is, don’t worry about having the answers, because I can help you with that, you don’t have the answers. I don’t have the answers. And you’re not going to have the answers either. And so, don’t feel pressured to have the answers because we don’t have them.

Dave Newell:

But I do believe that one of the ways that we get to improv solutions is by listening, particularly to the people that we serve, listening to them. And so, rather than us telling them what we think they need or should do, is listening to them as if our lives depended on it. And probably the adaptive solution is somewhere in there.

Lyn Wineman:

That is such great advice. Listen as if your life depended on it. I’m going to use that, Dave. I’m going to try to do that. There’s not a lot of things that we do anymore that I would say, “Hey, my life really depends on this.” And we spend so much time trying to formulate the next response or figure out the next witty come back. Right? And instead spend more time listening deeply, deeply listening. That’s very nice.

Lyn Wineman:

Well, hey, I’m hoping you’ll give me something that I want to listen to next. And that is I always like to ask people for their own inspirational quote. I’d like a Dave Newell quote that I can use moving forward.

Dave Newell:

Sure. That was so much pressure. So, here was my improv response to that. And actually, going back to Daniel, our young philanthropist, Daniel actually helped me get there, because I knew you were asking me this question. And so, my response to that is, “Love is the combination of relationships, resources, and results.”

Lyn Wineman:

Wow.

Dave Newell:

And how was that? How did I do?

Lyn Wineman:

Thumbs up. People can’t see me, but thumbs up. That was good. That was good.

Dave Newell:

Okay.

Lyn Wineman:

A plus.

Dave Newell:

Yeah. And guess for me, love is a verb. And if you think about Daniel as an example, part of how Daniel became a young philanthropist is through the relationships with his family, but also his relationships with others. Because you don’t care about giving, unless you’re in relationship with those in your community. Right? And so, you have that relationship component. You have to have resources to give. And the resource doesn’t have to be money. Of course, going back to that improv quote is listening is a resource. It’s a resource of time that we’re putting in to… And that’s a huge gift. Anybody who’s really been truly listened to, feels like they’ve received a gift, I think. And so, there’s that.

Dave Newell:

And then results, it’s not enough for us to go around telling people that we love them. Right? I mean, that’s very nice.

Lyn Wineman:

But it can be very empty. Right? “Oh, I love this. I love that.”

Dave Newell:

I love this. Right. Right. And so, it has to be tied to something tangible, not necessarily material, but something that’s meaningful to the person, so that they really know that they’re truly loved. And here again, we know one of the biggest gifts you can give to your children is your time.

Dave Newell:

And going back to being a little bit more positive about this COVID experience.  Over the past year I’ve probably spent more time with my wife and kids than I ever would have if COVID-19 hadn’t happened. So, I can on the one hand experience that as a loss, in the sense of not being able to do the other things that we all are missing doing right now.  Or I can also look at it as a gift of, what a gift that we’ve been given to spend this time with the people that we’re closest to. It doesn’t always feel like a gift.

Lyn Wineman:

Some days. Some days.

Dave Newell:

Some days under the circumstances, right? But it really is a gift. And so, these things have to be put into action, which is what I mean by results.

Lyn Wineman:

But I think that’s beautiful. One of the things I often tell my staff is you can’t spell KidGlov without love, right? And that speaks to-

Dave Newell:

That’s great.

Lyn Wineman:

… the passion of culture and teamwork and serving the clients that we work with and helping them find results. And of course, it is funny cause we spell KidGlov without an E at the end. So, let’s spell love without any E at the end to it. But that’s the way we do it.

Lyn Wineman:

Dave, for our listeners who would like to learn more about your work and support you, hopefully get that endorphin rush of giving to you, how can they find out more about Children’s Home Society of Washington?

Dave Newell:

So, if you just Google, Children’s Home Society of Washington, we will be the first one that pops up.

Lyn Wineman:

That always works.

Dave Newell:

That always works. And so, I would really encourage your listeners, if they do want to give and make a difference in a kid’s and family’s life, to go to our website, check us out and see the great work that we’re doing, not only in Washington State, but we really do have a national agenda on the public policy front too. We’re trying to impact kids and families in a positive way on all levels.

Lyn Wineman:

That’s great. That is so great. So, as we wrap up this fun conversation together, but also a very deep conversation together. What is the most important thing you’d like people to remember about the work that you’re doing?

Dave Newell:

When you touch a kid’s and family’s life, you’re not only impacting today, you’re impacting all the generations that have to come. And so, if we do something positive for kids and families today, that’s a gift that’s going to keep replaying itself in generation after generation, just as you saw in Daniel’s family, as an example.

Lyn Wineman:

Dave, that is good stuff. And this has been just, it’s great to reconnect with you and talk to you. And I fully believe the world needs more Dave Newell. So, thank you for taking time out to talk with us today.

Dave Newell:

Thanks for having me, Lyn.

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